The ministry of Petroleum Resources awarded the Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 246 to SAPETRO in 1998. The block covers a total area of 2,590km² (1,000 sq. miles) and lies 120-160km due South of Port Harcourt, in water depths of about 1,100m – 1,800m.
Exploration drilling commenced in 1999 and with five wells on a row leading to discoveries of Akpo condensate field in 2000, later, oil fields – Egina Main, Egina South, Preowei and Kuro (which was suspended as a dry gas/minor oil discovery).
Following successful appraisal drilling, the 50% of the OPL was converted to an Oil Mining Lease (OML) in 2005 to cover Akpo, Egina Main, Egina South and Preowei fields.